It is 2 AM and I am boiling

In the shower, I scald my skin hard
and red,
like the crabs my uncles would throw
into pots of bubbling water,
Burns beget steam and I
smell my grandpa’s cigarettes,
smoke blurring the air like here,
Water crawling like soaking hands
And I understand the panic
of those crabs,
sweat dripping from every pore,
claws frantically clutching the sides
of rusted metal pots,
We search for breath, drowning
while they laugh,
pressing down the lid with pudgy yellow fingers and
I forget I am not a crab–
The shower door is locked
and my arms are blooming roses.

Tuttle Emily Tuttle is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland College Park where she was editor of two on-campus journals and editorial assistant for Poet Lore in Bethesda, Maryland. She is now an assistant editor with Rowman and Littlefield.